Mountain adventures

Multi Activity Week, Day 4

Day 4.  Bit of a wash out!  Our intention was to go cragging at Castle Inn Quarry but on arrival it was raining and the crag saturated.  Quick think and all change.

4o minutes later we were parked up at Bus Stop Quarry and ready to explore the Dinorwic slate quarries.  The group was informed about slate as a rock type, its use, its extraction and its demise.  We then moved on to discuss quarry life, working conditions and the quarry layout.  Leaving the bus stop we headed into the heart of the quarry and explored the splitting sheds, blast shelters, winching houses and inclines.  The group saw how the slate was lowered down the hillside, to the trains and out towards the coast.

It was interesting to see how nature had now taken over this old industrial landscape with trees and wild flowers.  At this time of year heather, foxglove, tormentil, bedstraw and starry saxifrage were all in full bloom.

I pointed out the various levels and the names that both the quarrymen and later the climbers had given these areas.  Now the quarries lay redundant it was explained how the climbers had taken over and named and graded routes.

With new knowledge of the levels we headed into the winch shed of lower Australia, Dali’s Hole and through the tunnel into California.  Emerging from the gloom we passed Serengeti, Never Never Land, though the Watford Gap and peered into Twyll Mawr.  Here we viewed the top 2 pitches of Johnny Dawes masterpiece ‘The Quarryman’.

By now we were wet through again!  So we dropped into ‘Beris’ for a brew then headed back to grab the drying rooms.  Tomorrow’s weather looks a bit more promising!

Posted in Mountain adventures

Multi Activity Week, Day 3

Day 3.  We hit the Marin Trail and had good conditions and good weather.  Our journey began in Betws y Coed.  With local knowledge I guided the group via back roads to post 51 and avoided the long climbs.  Previously time was spent fitting riders to bikes, discussing gear settings and changes, use of brakes, position of pedals, the attack position, body position and shape on the bike.
Early on in the trail the group put all of this into practice and then combined it all with group spacings.  We were rewarded with great views onto the Carneddau, Glyderau and Moel Siabod.  The only real downside was the prolific amount of midges.  This was exasperated when changing a puncture!  But it was our only set back.
We hauled in the marker posts until eventually reaching number 50.  One of the most enjoyable parts of the day was the long descent by road back into Betws and of course the obligatory coffee to celebrate a great journey and good workout.

Posted in Mountain adventures

Multi Activity Week, Day 2

Day 2 of the activity week. After yesterday’s drenching on Tal y Fan the boys were treated to a day under cover at Indy climbing wall! The day began with an introduction to top roping, particular attention and time being paid to belaying skills,tying in and communication skills. The group were told to take it easy and warm up gradually as the main event was a bouldering competition later. One hour later suitably warmed up and with some new skills under the belts we stopped for a breather.
Next up the rules and regs of bouldering problems and spotting. We had a look at seated and standing starts all with the aim of priming the group for the looming bouldering competition. Newly educated we quickly ran through scorecards, had a brief on the guidelines to the dozen bouldering problems. Go! Two hours to attempt and complete. Most of the problems had an unusual theme. Some required balance, strength, momentum, speed and ingenuity. Regardless of the results, two hours later I had six individuals that could hardly move their arms! A credit to their efforts but a premature end to the day. Brew time and plan for tomorrow. Well done boys

Posted in Mountain adventures

Snowdonia Multi Activity Week

Today marked the start of a five day multi activity week for six work colleagues. Looking to maximise the use of the weather we started the week hillwalking. Logic leaving hopefully the better days to come!
Our walk started in the Conwy valley village of Rowen. We ascended the steep road to the Youth hostel where it merged into the roman road. From here we climbed to the ridge of Tal y Fan and made our way to the summit 610m. Visibility was pretty minimal until we dropped towards Llandudno and views of the coast. We then walked on a bearing across high moorland terrain to find the ancient church of St. Celynin. Here we found sanctuary, from the elements! The descent continued through the Parc Mawr reserve until we eventually re-emerged in Rowen. Nine miles and some very wet clothes later found us sipping a well earned brew and discussing the next day’s activity.

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